Friday, May 11, 2012

Gay Marriage

I didn't intend to write this blog post.  I wrote the following as a response to a blog post of a friend's, friend (read his post HERE) asking sincerely why those of us against gay marriage are against it.  He truly doesn't understand, and kindly asked for some explanations.  After writing it, I felt I really needed to share it on my blog.  So, I'm going out on a limb here, and risk losing more friendships (I've already lost my very best friend -her choice not mine- because of my pro-life views).   I'm actually sad that I feel I have to write this, because I'm sure it's going to turn people, most importantly some friends, against me, and I hate that... I LOVE my friends.  However, I can't be quiet and complacent any longer about these kinds of life issues.  God asks us to spread His love and the Gospel and that's what's in my heart.  It's from God's love, and out of my love for Him and others.

I'm a Catholic (and Catholics are Christian if someone doesn't know that).  I use to be a liberal Democrat (I vote with my conscious now, not according to any “party”), but that was before I started searching for answers to "Why am I here?  What is my purpose for living?"  Those questions, by the grace of God, lead me to my faith.  I think a lot of the issue of opinions on gay marriage have to do with whether you believe in Christ and the Gospel, NOT EVERYONE, but a lot.  If you don't believe in God, then you're probably not going to understand why we should not agree to same-sex marriage.  And if you do believe in God, then it's probably that you don't truly see or understand why we shouldn't always have the right to live by all of our OWN rules. 

I don't expect many reading this will understand what I write or these viewpoints.  It's because I'm deeply convicted by my faith.  I need to explain the following first before getting into the topic of gay marriage, so please bear with me.  I believe in God, our Father, as the Creator of heaven and earth and all living things.  I believe that He gave us free will to do what we want, but asked that we abide by certain rules in order to maintain a natural balance and goodness in the world - to abide by the nature of how He created us to be.  I believe that because of His gift of free will, that humans make mistakes but God STILL LOVES US.  I believe that our souls can have eternal life, and it's God's desire for us to live our eternal life in Heaven with Him.  That's a gift, and shouldn't be just expected.  So, in exchange, God wants us to live our lives according to His will, which has our BEST interest at hand.  Because of free will, and the mistakes we make, God felt that we needed to be saved from ourselves, to be forgiven so that we can be pure and still join Him in eternal happiness in Heaven.  Therefore, He sent His son, Jesus, to come and teach us more about God's love and to die for our sins so that we may have eternal life.  I never truly appreciated that until I had my own children.  I can't imagine sacrificing my own child.  Can you imagine how much that pained Him?!  And for Jesus to suffer the way his did?!  For us sinners.  (A must see, Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ", please see that movie if you haven't.)  They love us SO much and desire so immensely for us to be in Heaven with them forever one day, that they gave us the ultimate sacrifice!  When I contemplate the magnitude of all that, I'm in awe that this is all because God loves us so much.  All He asks is that we love Him in return and live according to His will, which is nothing bad for us, is all about goodness and purity and love.  I respect that so much and therefore I want to do His will, I WANT to follow His rules. Part of His will for us includes helping others to know God and love Him too.  I can't put into words the feelings in my heart of my love for God, nor can I put into words the feelings of immense love I feel from Him towards me.  It's something that's truly unexplainable, it has to be experienced. It's what total fulfillment and TRUE love feels like.  I think it has to be experienced to truly appreciate.  When you experience it, you want everyone you know to experience it too (at least I do anyway).

I'm sure I'll be grilled for this post, but I truly feel in my heart that God wants some of these things to be heard and talked about by more people, so I'm trying to do His will here.

1)  Christians are to love ALL people.
2)  Catholicism is not against people with same-sex attraction, but rather against same-sex SEXUAL ACTS.  It's the acts that are sinful.  The church loves and accepts all people, including homosexuals, but we’re taught that sexual relations are meant for the union of a married man and woman to bond with each other, and to procreate if you want children.  If we're a heterosexual married couple NOT wanting to bond or procreate, then we must be chaste.  It’s the BEST thing for us.  The same principles apply to premarital sex and masturbation.  (I'd like to reference an earlier post of mine about why Catholicism teaches against contraception. We believe that even in married life, we are called to be chaste and control ourselves at certain times, and in respect for our spouse and human dignity. Click HERE to see why. It might give more perspective to this topic as well.)
3)  God does not teach us this to be mean or controlling.  Instead, it’s because he knows what’s BEST for us.  Just like a parent knows what's best for a child.  The same can be said about laws. They’re made for our safety, and our well-being, right?  The same can be said for God’s laws too. I don’t see how anyone could read the 10 Commandments and not see that those commandments are meant for our BEST interest. 

Referencing a comment on the blogger's post which says: "In theory and in a perfect world, a well-adjusted and happy home containing a mother and father appears to me likely to give more balance and perspective than any other pairing".  It sounds like you agree that it’s BEST for children to be raised by a married man and woman, so I’m sure you can understand that I mean by "what is BEST", or what is ideal.
4)  Even if you don’t believe in God, or Christ, or don't subscribe to a “religion”, to me it just makes since according to NATURAL law.  It's perfect nature that men and women join together for the purpose of creating other human beings.  When you mess with Mother Nature, or karma, or Mother Earth, or the universe, things don’t work "as well".  Now, things do go wrong in nature, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a death sentence.  Much good can still come from things that seem to be horrible crosses to bear.  I don’t see how not being allowed to get married would subject a person to a live of unhappiness, or how it would hinder someone’s love for another person.  I came from a really messed-up broken home and NEVER wanted to get married or have children (until I met my husband, and that changed everything!).  I loved my husband dearly, but if it weren’t for the fact that I wanted to have kids, I would have never gotten married.   What’s the point really?  He’s an amazingly faithful man, devoted to me, and getting married doesn’t change that.  For me, it’s about family, and what’s the BEST environment to raise a family.
5)  The worldview of sex is out of control!  I feel a lot of all this has to do with where our society is regarding sex in general.  Our society is hyper- sexualized.  It seems like everything is about sex.  Why is that?  Look at commercialism, materialism, and Hollywood. Sex is seen as no big deal anymore.  Listen to the mainstream music created these days, look at the clothes designers create, look at the TV shows and movies released.  Catholicism views sex in a way that upholds the DIGNITY of ALL humans, and regards procreation as a highly respected act because it’s meant to create another human being!  Creating a person, bringing a soul into this world is a HUGE deal!  Thus, the act that produces that should be highly respected.  Anyone who has children surely knows what a beautiful, amazing thing new life is, and what a miracle it is.  We don’t trivialize sex as something just for one’s OWN pleasure.  Much of our society doesn’t accept that because sex is so devalued now, and generations are being taught that life is all about fulfilling our own pleasures.  

Hyper-sexualization hurts SO many people, in so many ways.  People are thinking it's ok to treat our bodies and the bodies of others, in any way they want.  This stirs actions that hurt people because of sexual desires, ie, pedophilia, rape, incest, premarital sex, sodomy, fornication, pornography, sexual addictions, zoophilia (yes, there are people out there doing that!) lust, selfishness, using of people for our own gratification, and so on.  Sexual desires are so strong because they're meant to bring people together to procreate - that's nature.  Sexual desires can be stirred up by impure things that are not in our BEST interest.  When those desires get stirred up, it's not always for good.  Some people will do anything to satisfy those desires, because we're taught by our society that it's ok.  Now, I'm NOT saying that homosexuals or gay marriage will cause all these things.  I'm saying that it has a strong propensity to contribute to the confusion of our world's view about sex, which can be very damaging over the long-run because how societal views about sex will continue to evolve.  Think of how it's deteriorated over the past several decades (look at the increase in statics of abortion, teen pregnancies and kids having sex, unwanted babies, unwed parents, STD's, sexual addictions, infidelity, disregard for the respect of human dignity with pornography, strip clubs, adult book stores, etc).  Don't you think if certain rules or laws aren't in place, that it will continue to spiral downward?  I'm sorry to say, but I do.  I hate this for my homosexual friends, and my heart goes out to them.  Again, I want to be clear that I'm NOT saying that homosexuality causes all these sexual evils in the world!  My point is that without certain rules or laws, confusion of sex and marriage and our purpose according to nature and God, will continue to evolve into more skewed views over generations. 

I believe homosexuals are born the way they are (I don't know that for a fact, it's just my opinion).  Things do go wrong in nature sometimes.  I don't know why that is but it doesn't always have to be viewed as a bad thing.  One can make good of it.  (I can share stories of wonderful chaste, homosexuals living according to God's will who have very rewarding lives with lots of loved ones around them.)  It's our society that's telling people that in order to be happy and to live a satisfying life, one must get to enjoy sexual acts anytime and any way we want, one must be allowed to get legally married, one must have children, one must have money, one must be physically beautiful according to certain standards, etc.  Do these things bring true happiness? 
What I don’t understand is why do people think they have to be legally married to be happy or to love someone in a live-long relationship?  To me, it seems like some people in favor of gay marriage just want to make a point.  They want to prove something.  Why does a legal marriage “prove” anything, unless it’s for the sake of having children?  It seems to me that homosexuals in love want to get married to either, 1) prove something to the world, or 2) to be able to “have” children, but again, what is BEST for children?  For if it were to just prove your love to your partner, why is a piece of paper needed? 
Gay marriage goes against what is BEST for humans and our society.  I don’t understand how so many very intelligent people who believe gay marriage should be legal, aren’t more forward thinking than they are.  To me, legalizing gay marriage will over years lead to so much more confusion about sex and the true nature of human beings.  It will add to the triteness of how sex is viewed in general by our society because it will desensitize our culture more and more to what is sexually inappropriate according to how we were created - God's purpose for sex.  If we become a society that doesn’t come to see that some decisions are BETTER than others, and that rules and laws are in place to protect our well-being and we lead other generations to think the same way, then our society has the potential, over time, towards anarchy.  I’m sure many of you don’t see the big picture, but God does.   For me, it’s about respecting what God intended for marriage and for the male and female bodies, and about preserving family and what’s BEST for a family and children.
I agree with everything you say about even straight marriages can be screwed up, and that messes up society too (a point made in the man's blog - link is above).  My points are based on what is BEST for us.  Just like speed limits are enforced because it’s BEST for us.  There are laws against stealing because it’s BEST for our society.  And so on, and so on.  Does it suck for homosexuals?  YES!  And I'm so, so sorry.  I really feel for them, I do!
Does my heart go out to homosexuals?  YES!!!!  My heart breaks for them!  It sucks that they have to live through all this, BUT one’s sexual attraction preference should not complete a person’s identity.  Every person is SO MUCH MORE than their sexual preference.  Every person is SO MUCH MORE than just who they are married to, and we’re all worth SO MUCH MORE than sex.
A word about the mumble jumble marriage graphic you displayed under #1 in your post… I don’t even understand that.  I’m no Bible scholar myself, and maybe I’m stupid, but if you’re not one who has studied the Bible, then you shouldn’t post things that claim to say what the Bible says… no disrespect… just sayin’.  The Bible is literature - because any written word is considered literature.  The books of the Bible are categorized into eight different types and written from the following perspectives, which in turn affect how scripture should be interpreted: Law, History, Wisdom, Poetry, Gospel, Epistles, Prophecy, and Apocalyptic Literature.  (How the books are classified into these categories can be learned by Googling if you're interested.) Therefore, all interpretations of scripture should be considered from the perspective and context from which it’s written, and unless one knows that, we can’t claim to know what the Bible is saying.  I would guess that graphic was made by someone who picked those lines out of the Bible to make THEIR OWN POINT.
This subject really goes FAR, FAR deeper than just sex, attraction, love, or a piece of paper.  It’s about souls, and what people believe about our souls, or if they even believe humans have souls at all.  Therefore this topic can’t be completely discussed from this post.  I highly recommend listening to a copy of the following CD:
It’s an incredible testimony that you won't regret listening to.  It's NOT a lecture;  it's spoken from LOVE.  The CD is about 30 minutes and so worth it!  (If you attend St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis, you can pick up a copy in the Narthex.)  Here’s a description:Father Michael Schmitz, chaplain of the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, tackles some of the most difficult topics in the Church today. With compassion, clarity, and energetic humor, Fr. Schmitz shows us that the Church's teachings on contraception and same-sex attractions are rooted in the yearnings for authentic love that is shared by all people, who are made in the image and likeness of God.”

I have friends who are gay, and friends who have family members who are gay.  This is a tough subject to stand firm about.  I love those friends and it’s my love for them that concerns me about their souls, and the souls of my Christian friends who are for gay-marriage.  I don’t understand how any Christian can be for gay-marriage unless they haven’t heard what it is that God really wants for us, out of LOVE.  My fear is that those Christian friends are concerned about being liked, or concerned about losing their friendships.  Are those reasons worth the eternal life of someone’s soul?
I feel the same way about my friends and family who are pro-abortion, who are having pre-marital sex, who have addictions, who don’t believe in God, or who think life is about living OUR OWN rules.  I know many people struggle with the existence of God and eternal life.  But WHAT IF it’s all true?  Is living life according to one’s OWN rules (as opposed to God’s) so much fun and so worth it, that’s it’s worth the risk of giving up eternal life and eternal happiness and fulfillment FOREVER, if it really does exist?  I’d rather not find out.  I’d rather not take that chance, I’d rather my soul be saved, and those I love soul’s be saved, and maybe even help save a soul of someone I don’t even know.  As quoted from Fr. Schmitz, "We are created from love, by love, and for love."  For Christians, life's about LOVE.  Love for our human brothers and sisters who struggle in life. We ALL have struggles, and we all are sinners, but there's a way to eternal, true, happiness anyway... it's through Christ.  It’s NOT about judgment or bigotry, is about LOVE. 

I pray that we'll all go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  God bless you reading this!

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